A new format hit conference yesterday. At the end of Saturday’s session, we had a “Policy Pitch” section. This is a new idea whereby members submit ideas to the conference commitee and three of those ideas are accepted for discussion at the conference.
The chosen members gave a short speech outlining their policy proposal. Then they sat down in a comfy chair on stage with three “assessors”, who were: Julie Smith, Jeremy Hargreaves and Willie Rennie. There was then a little interviewing of each proposer from the three assessors.
The three policy pitches yesterday were:
- Elaine Bagshaw – An education system that teaches to ability, not age.
- Glanville Williams – All Public Bodies should, as part of their annual reporting on workforce monitoring, conduct and report on ‘selection rate’ and ‘availability rate’ comparison tests in terms of the visible ‘protected characteristics’, (gender, disability and race).
- Catherine Smart – Divide the Border Agency and make the section dealing with Asylum Seekers an Agency of the Foreign Office, leaving the rest with the Home Office.
At the end of the session there was a show of hands as to which representatives thought each proposal was worth working on to move forward. Catherine’s asylum seekers proposal received slightly more hands of approval than the other pitches. However, all three proposals were excellent, very well presented and well-received.
Well done Elaine, Glanville and Catherine for making your superb pitches.
And a special mention goes to Glanville Williams who is attending his first conference and is a new member. Welcome, Glanville!